Premier League: GW26 Starting XI

After a piss poor Gameweek 25, I don’t believe the situation can get any worse. Rage, in conjunction with risk seem to dominate my thoughts recently. Frustration had set in prior to GW23, which saw a premature activation of the second wild card. In hindsight it wasn’t the correct decision, especially with 2 FT in the bank, didn’t know I would lose both once on the wild card. Last week, I followed my thoughts and introduced Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Not having seen much support from pundits and supporters on Twitter, I could have waited a week on either players before bringing them into my starting XI, but wanted to get a jump on the possibility both would return attacking points. Neither returned points, but poised to hit for their first returns for their new clubs. After dropping 200k spots, I am talking a big risk move in hopes of a big reward.

There is some concern at the back for Manchester United, after bring undone by Spurs and Phil Jones. David de Gea will get this start this week, home to Huddersfield, which should be a guaranteed 6 points. However, moving forward I might downgrade the Spaniard and his £5.9 to give me an additional £1.1 ITB to upgrade elsewhere. With Jordan Pickford on the bench, I have a considerable about wrapped up in keepers, as I am constantly reminded.

Defensively, I am considering a 3-man set with Marcos Alonso, Alfie Mawson and Nathan Aké. The Bournemouth man was brought in this week for the FPL troll that was Andreas Christensen. After a goal last week and a run of good fixtures, I will be looking to hold Aké as the Cherries feature in GW28 and possibly GW31 and GW35. I failed to start Mawson last week, as he comes off an assist. Maybe more importantly, Virgil van Dijk was “rested” last week, but should get the start, however against Spurs, it might be a goal fest, so his inclusion is not warranted this week. He was brought for his attacking prowess, but Liverpool on the road this season haven’t been good defensively. Paul Dummett could also be a good shout as they play Crystal Palace, do we see a 0-0 forthcoming?

Currently I have a 3-4-3 formation that will feature Mohammad Salah, Alexis Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marc Albrighton. Luca Milivojevic will start in the first bench position as Palace face Newcastle. Albrighton might be a solid shout with no Riyad Mahrez in the lineup, but the Foxes face a reborn Swansea City squad, who could be a tough test. Arsene Wenger has said Mkhitaryan will start this week, but the Gunners will most likely be without their new forward, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. I still expect bit returns from the Armenian after starting off the season in great form. Salah could feature against a Spurs team off a CS, home to United. Liverpool has been deadly offensively this season and suspect Salah will post another week of attacking returns.

That brings us to Sanchez. At £11.7 I felt it was necessary to invest in the Chilean, as he’s a proven goal scorer. Known for being a perennial captain and big points returner, it should come as no surprise I will hand him the captain’s armband this weekend against Huddersfield. I am entertaining the thought of using my Triple Captain chip on him. While most managers hold their chips until the DGW, we are not quite sure what it will bring. Some managers were disappointed earlier in the year when Harry Kane was ill and returned no goals in DGW22. Home to Huddersfield is very tempting. Could be dependent on the amount of beer I have tonight.

Up front, I am running out three forwards, which is something I haven’t done since early in the season. Already invested in Harry Kane and Callum Wilson, Oumar Niasse was brought in during my DG23 wild card, but will start him as a bit of a punt this weekend against a poor looking Arsenal defense. He has been the best forward for Everton this season and I could see a brace for Senegalese footballer. Cenk Tosun has been subbed off around 60 minutes since joining. Could it be the right call on Niasse?

Not sure my season can get any worse. Back to back red arrows and looking to stop the bleeding and turn my season around in the hopes of a respectable finish. Not sure I see that happening right now, but could happen if decisions made are the right ones and a bit of luck comes my way. Even if it doesn’t there is always the #FPLBeerClub to take solace in.

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